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“‘O ka ho‘olōkahi ‘ana iā kākou, ka lohe ‘ana aku i nā mana‘o ho‘ākāka o kekahi po‘e o kākou no nā mea e pono ai kēia lāhui, he mea ‘ano nui loa ia ma ke ola lāhui ‘ana; a iā kākou e ‘ākoakoa mau mai ai ma nā pā‘ina o kēia ‘ano, ma laila kākou e ho‘okama‘āina pono ai kekahi me kekahi, ma laila e lohe ai i nā mana‘o e pono ai ka ho‘okō ‘ia aku, a e ‘ike ‘ia a‘e ai kākou he lāhui.”

“Unifying ourselves — listening to each other talk about things that will benefit us as a people — is very important for the perpetuation of the lāhui; by gathering regularly at meals of this sort, we will become familiar with one another, we will hear ideas that should be carried out, and we will be seen as a lāhui.”

— Prince Kalaniana‘ole, 1918

2018 marks the centennial of The Hawaiian Civic Club, established by Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole in December 1918.

Just a few weeks prior, members of the ‘Ahahui Pu‘uhonua O Nā Hawai‘i gathered for a luncheon meeting at the invitation of their ‘ahahui president, Prince Kalaniana‘ole. His plan was simple — bring Hawaiian leaders together so they could meet face to face, share food, and talk about the needs of their people. By standing shoulder to shoulder and working together, instead of in isolation, he believed they could create a strong, unifying movement that would uplift their lāhui. Before the meeting was adjourned, it was decided that a constitution would be drafted for a new ‘ahahui.

The Hawaiian Civic Club’s founding goals were to restore the social, intellectual, and economic status of all Hawaiians and to increase pride in race heritage. For the first year, club membership was limited to Hawaiian men who were assessed an annual fee of $3. Lunakānāwai Ka‘apuni (circuit judge) William Ha‘eha‘e Heen served as the club’s first pelekikena (president), and Kawaiaha‘o Church’s newly appointed kahu, Reverend Akaiko Akana, was named hope pelekikena (vice president).

At the time the Club was established, Prince Kalaniana‘ole was in his eighth two-year term in the United States Congress as Hawai‘i’s Territorial Representative. On his visits home from Washington, D.C. each year, he witnessed increased poverty among his people, many of whom had taken up residence in tenement housing in Honolulu and in larger neighbor island towns. He identified a need for Hawaiians to return to their ‘āina to resume traditional practices of mahi‘ai and lawai‘a and believed that with proper training, Hawaiians would greatly benefit from becoming business owners. In 1921 — a year before the Prince’s passing — the long-awaited Hawaiian rehabilitation initiative was codified as the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. This, too, was a result of the tenacity of the ‘Ahahui Pu‘uhonua O Nā Hawai‘i and the Hawaiian Civic Club.

In the late 1920s, the Club began chartering new ‘Ahahui Sivila Hawai‘i throughout the islands, inspiring a renaming of the original “Mother Club,” to be thenceforth known as the Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu. Today, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs constitutes a confederation of 58 clubs representing five councils: Moku o Keawe (Hawai‘i), Nā Hono A‘o Pi‘ilani (Maui), Ke One O Kākuhihewa (O‘ahu), Moku O Manokalanipō (Kaua‘i) and Nā Lei Makalapua (Continental U.S.). Annual conventions of the AHCC bring hundreds of delegates together to discuss and adopt resolutions that speak to the wellbeing of Hawaiians and the pae ‘āina of Hawai‘i. A number of these resolutions make their way to the Hawai‘i State Legislature and are often passed into law. Through it all, Prince Kalaniana‘ole’s founding goals remain central to the work of the AHCC, with many clubs providing post-high scholarships to Hawaiian learners each year.

As music is a cornerstone of Hawaiian cultural expression, each club selects their club mele along with a club flower, color and motto. Over the years, the ‘Aha Mele at civic club conventions have ranged from formal Hawaiian choral competitions to informal kani ka pila. This year’s choral competition brings the entire high school student body of Nā Kula ‘o Kamehameha ma Kapālama together in song to feature the mele ‘ahahui of 10 Hawaiian Civic Clubs.

E ho‘olohe a ho‘onanea mai!

2018 Winners

Louise Aoe McGregor Award
Outstanding student director

Josiah Hernandez (junior boys)

Richard Lyman, Jr., ‘Ōlelo Makuahine Award
Oustanding use of the Hawaiian language

Class of 2018 (senior combined)

George Alanson Andrus Cup
Boys’ competition award

Class of 2018 (seniors)
Kona Abergas (song director)

New England Mothers’ Cup
Girls’ competition award

Class of 2018 (seniors)
Teeya Le‘i (song director)

Helen Desha Beamer Award
Outstanding musical performance

Class of 2018 (senior combined)

Charles Edward King Cup
Combined class competition award

Class of 2018 (seniors)
‘Elia Akaka (song director)



Lei No Ka‘iulani

Arranged by: Dorothy Gillett

Category: Girls

Song Director: Teeya Le‘i
Papa: 12
Hometown: Kahuku, O‘ahu

This song, Lei No Ka‘iulani was composed by John Edwards and arranged by Dorothy Gillett. These names, have not been familiar within the past few years, but they have impacted Hawaiian choral music in many ways. With this arrangment, we are able to witness their ability in executing their Hawaiian language and musical skills. Something that should be noted is that, Ka‘iulani means “the highest point of heaven” or “the royal sacred one” in the Hawaiian language. As women of the senior class, we are at our highest point. We need to leave our mark and legacy, just as Princess Ka‘iulani did.

The story behind this mele, ties into the distress and conflict created post-overthrow. The purpose of this mele is to honor Princess Ka‘iulani. A double meaning that I took away from this mele, was the significance of this lei. As I had stated before, a lei of white lehua and maile is very rare. A lei, is also short lived. These two similarities, the rareness and short lived life, both relate to Princess Ka‘iulani. Her personality and strength is rare, and she lived a life of 23 years.

Lei No Ka‘iulani relates to this year's theme, “I Ho‘okahi Ka Mana‘o,” meaning to be of one thought and one idea because Princess Ka‘iulani was the voice of the people at the time. She was also the advocate for the people, during the overthrow, despite her young age. I believe that she is the representation of what it means to be of one thought.

Nā Kuahiwi ‘Elima

Arranged by: Zachary A. Lum

Category: Boys

Song Director: Kona Abergas
Papa: 12
Hometown: Mililani, O‘ahu

When songwriter/composer Helen Desha Beamer travelled from Hilo to Kawaihae, she witnessed the mountains of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualālai, Kohala, and Haleakalā. During her travels, she wrote this song to recollect her journey. The song was then used as the mele for the South Kohala Hawaiian Civic Club. Today, these are important topics to us as Hawaiians such as Mauna Kea and Haleakalā. I believe that through this song, it gives us an opportunity to honor these beautiful mountains, our precious ‘āina, and to honor the people of the South Kohala Civic Club.

He Mele Lāhui Hawai‘i

Arranged by: Zachary A. Lum

Category: Combined Class

Song Director: ‘Elia Kalei‘ohuināpali Akaka
Papa: 12
Hometown: Kāne‘ohe, O‘ahu

A notorious Hawaiian musician, composer and arranger, Queen Lili‘u(okalani) Loloku Walania Kamaka‘eha composed the song “He Mele Lāhui Hawai‘i” by request of Lot Kapuaīwa, who was king at the time of its composition. The song was the first national hymn (anthem) of Hawai‘i as an organized and recognized kingdom. Previous to its composition, Great Britain’s national anthem “God Save the King” was sung, translated into the Hawaiian language. Our Coed song this year is not only the song of the people of Hawai‘i (the direct translation of its title) but is a prayer, uniting the people of Hawaii in one voice asking God to grant peace and fertility to the Kingdom and its people.

This year's theme of “I Ho‘okahi Ka Mana‘o,” in my opinion, can be simplified to the idea of unity. In honoring the 100 years of civic clubs in Hawai‘i, we are recognizing the fact that it takes only a few people, regular “grass-roots” people coming together to form ideas and bring them to fruition for the betterment of the community of their tomorrow. “He Mele Lāhui Hawai‘i” is a perfect embodiment of this idea, because it is literally the people’s song. My hope is that I can help us as the senior class to understand this concept of unity, and portray it through our song not only in its lyrics but in the way that we perform, coming together in unity for the last time as a class at song contest.


Uluwehi o Ka‘ala

Arranged by: Bowe Souza

Category: Girls

Song Director: Nadia Pagdilao
Papa: 11
Hometown: Halawa, O‘ahu

My song was composed by Kanihomau‘ole, and was arranged by Bowe Souza. When I first heard this song, I was immediately thinking that this was the song that I wanted to choose for my women. Not much is known about the song itself, but one of the first people to put it down on paper was Charles E. King. My mele comes from the Pearl Harbor Hawaiian Civic Club, which coincidentally is the civic club from my area. Though Mount Ka‘ala is in Wai‘anae, I was told by the civic club that the mele was probably chosen because Mount Ka‘ala was one of the only prominent mountains that could be seen from the Pearl Harbor/Ewa area. Wanting more information about my song, I contacted the Immediate Past-President of the club, Toni Lee. After corresponding and meeting with her, she asked me if I would like to join the club, and I am now a proud member of the Pearl Harbor Hawaiian Civic Club. I am so happy that my song introduced me to the Civic Club and that I can continue representing this club through my membership.


Arranged by: Timothy Ho

Category: Boys

Song Director: Josiah Hernandez
Papa: 11
Hometown: Kāne‘ohe, O‘ahu

The mele Kaleleonālani is for Queen Emma and was composed as a greeting for her on the occasion of her trip to Maui, in 1882. As her ship entered Kahului harbor, lehua blossoms were floated on the water to greet the Queen which is mentioned in verse two. The song was written and composed by Sylvester Kalama, who was aboard the ship that took the queen to Maui. Charles E. King credits this mele to Nu‘uanu. The Queen was always addressed as Emma or Emalani, but was called Kalanikaumaka (the chiefess to whom everyone looks) by her immediate family. After the passing of Prince Albert, her son in 1862, she asked her people to call her Kaleleokalani, the flight of the heavenly one. When her husband, Kamehameha IV passes away a year later, she asked that the name be changed to the plural form, Kaleleonālani which is the name of the song.

Our song was arranged by Timothy Keali‘i Ho, a 1991 Kamehameha Alumni. Our theme honors 100 years of Hawaiian Civic Clubs and Kaleleonālani is the club mele for the Queen Emma Hawaiian Civic Club.

Hanohano Hanalei

Arranged by: Matthew L. Urabe

Category: Combined Class

Song Director: Miranda Burigsay
Papa: 11
Hometown: Waipahu, O‘ahu

Hanohano Hanalei, composed by Alfred Alohikea and arranged by Matthew Urabe, highlights the multiple aspects of Hanalei and is the club mele for the Hanalei Civic Club.

I was interested in learning about the Hanalei Civic Club and their club song. I was able to learn about the place, the civic club, and the song through talking to the civic club’s vice president, Kamealoha.

Alfred Alohikea was not orignally from Kaua‘i, but moved there later on in his life and fell in love with Hanalei, his new home, which is why he composed this song. This song became like an anthem to the people of Hanalei. It was a song known by everybody and sung everywhere from choirs to churches to campaigns for legislation. For the Hanalei Civic club, it is a gathering song with a welcoming and encouraging spirit that they enjoyed and embody. The Hanalei Civic Club is all about gathering the people together, getting ALL generations involved with the club (especially through their paddling team), and pursuing the common goal of living aloha and making things better for our lāhui.

As Hanohano Hanalei was a gathering song that brought the people together, the Hanalei Civic Club as well as all the other civic clubs do just the same. This relates back to our theme of “I Ho‘okahi Ka Mana‘o: 100 Years of Hawaiian Civic Clubs” and their power through unity. Although members of the civic clubs all come from different backgrounds, our Hawaiian Civic Clubs remain powerful because they unite with the common goal that they have: working towards the betterment of the Hawaiian people.



Arranged by: Kapalai‘ula de Silva

Category: Girls

Song Director: Huntyr Atkins
Papa: 10
Hometown: Kailua, O‘ahu

Ho‘olehua was written by Clarence Kinney. He has written many songs for the Hawaiian community, one of them being Aloha O‘ahu. Surprisingly, he composed this song for Ho‘olehua in Moloka‘i but owned a homestead in ‘Olo‘olo. Yet being a homesteader, himself, he wrote this mele for all homesteaders. But behind that is a song written to pay tribute to a loving wife and ‘ohana. To pay tribute to a loving home. As an ‘ohana, we are all connected to each other in some way, shape, or form despite our conflicts and differences. This is the the overall definition of what Hawaiian Civic Clubs are. They are a group of ordinary people putting their differences aside to ‘give a voice’ to the place that they all call ‘HOME’.

Wailua Alo Lahilahi

Arranged by: Nicholas Lum

Category: Boys

Song Director: Taisamasama Ka‘imina‘auao-Eteuati
Papa: 10
Hometown: Anahola, Kaua‘i

My song was written by Prince Leleiōhoku and Kapoli and arranged by Nicolas Keali‘i Lum. The song speaks of the incomparable beauty that Kaua‘i has and of the beautiful hill Kemamo. Kemamo sits at the foot of Hā‘upu and speaks of the Wailua river that runs through Līhu‘e and out to the ocean carried by the Malualuaki‘iwai wind of Lehua.

It relates to “I Ho‘okahi ka Mana‘o” because this song was used as a way to bring the Kawaihau Civic Club together. Many different people came together and joined the civic club with the intent to better unify the Hawaiian communities and mele was a pivotal part of that process. We pay homage to that goal by singing a song that this civic club used as a way to unify and kōkua the lāhui.

Aloha ‘ia ‘o Wai‘anae

Arranged by: Bowe Souza

Category: Combined Class

Song Director: Josias Pilināmaka‘ika‘oia‘i‘o Kaupu Fronda
Papa: 10
Hometown: Honolulu, O‘ahu

I grew up in Wai‘anae. Being able to do a song like this has been the chance for me to give back to the community that I used to live in. I also feel that this song has an undeniably huge theme of being proud of where you came from. My hope is that my class sings this song for their families, their homelands, their people, their culture even. I feel like this relates to the theme of song contest because we are doing what Civic Clubs are meant to do, give the Hawaiian Culture a voice and be proud of it.


Ka Nani A‘o Ka‘ū

Arranged by: Kapalai‘ula de Silva

Category: Combined Class

Song Director: Haily Nascimento
Papa: 9
Hometown: Lualualei, O‘ahu

Ka‘ū is very famous in her own way and the song Ka Nani A‘o Ka‘ū really captures that beauty of the ‘āina. But I think this song is a love song. A love song for home and the people who are with it. You can feel the powerful emotions from the way each location is described and how much affection is shown for this place. It’s a wonderful thing to hear how much Ka‘ū is dearly loved.


Louise Aoe McGregor Award recognizes the student director who has made the most significant contribution to the class in organizational ability, leadership, assistance to others and persistence.

Richard Lyman, Jr., ‘Ōlelo Makuahine Award recognizes excellence in the use of the Hawaiian language within a song.

George Alanson Andrus Cup is awarded to the winner of the men’s competition.

New England Mother’s Cup is awarded to the winner of the women's competition.

Helen Desha Beamer Award recognizes the best musical performance.

Charles E. King Cup is awarded to the winner of the combined class competition.